In our country, education is a major problem, with a shortage of teachers and an incredible number of students that grows exponentially each year. This significantly contributes to poverty, since with little or no education comes less chances of being employed. In addition, with the rising cost of living and very little to no improvement in the disposable income of the parents, a lot of middle class families opted to transfer their children from private to public schools, thus, further inflating the population in these schools.
Since the increase in students each year is not met by a proportional increase in teachers and schools, DepEd has seen a light of hope in homeschooling. This was a very controversial issue, since some members of the academe believe that parents are ill-equipped to teach, unlike licensed teachers. However, homeschooling offers an alternative source of education, flexibility, and promotes a different kind of bond between parents and their children.
DepEd recently announced that it sees homeschooling as a possible solution to the country’s growing need for education. According to them, homeschooling, like classroom-based education, will follow modules patterned after the regular curriculum. On Saturdays, students under homeschooling will meet their teachers. This education method will also allow the students to graduate like any other students in private and public schools. They see this alternative method as a good way to ration the student-to-classroom ratio. It is also worth noting that in other countries, those who are homeschooled show significantly higher grades.
However, this description of homeschooling is rather faulty, according to homeschool leaders in the Philippines. They say that the version of DepEd should be more properly labeled as home study rather than homeschooling. Edric Mendoza, chairman of the Homeschool Association of the Philippine Islands (HAPI), distinguished the two by saying that home study requires students to continue using the public school curriculum at home then meet with a public school teacher on Saturdays. In homeschooling, the parent is solely responsible for the education of the child, not the government. He also mentioned that DepEd’s effort to promote “homeschooling” looks more like a desperate attempt on the part of the government to provide education to the marginalized rather than promoting real alternative education.
Homeschooling parents do not deny that it is a very difficult job; especially as most of them also work full-time. But they believe they can be successful, through good time management and zealous effort to teach students. This setup also gives the parents the chance to remain as the main influencers in the lives of their children. Though the students are not given the chance to socialize in classroom setups, they can still socialize through other sports and activities wherein they can interact with others. In the end, homeschooling education hopes to prove that learning need not be confined in the four walls of classrooms.
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Alina R. Co. “Homeschooling as an alternative to sending kids to school”. GMA News Online. (Posted on April 25, 2012). Retrieved on June 3, 2012 from http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/256144/lifestyle/people/homeschooling-as-an-alternative-to-sending-kids-to-school
Sera Yoo. “Philippines Looks to Homeschooling to Accommodate Different Struggles”. Open Equal Free. (Posted on May 28, 2012). Retrieved on June 3, 2012 from http://www.openequalfree.org/philippines-looking-towards-homeschooling-to-accommodate-different-struggles/11658
“Homeschool Leaders Wary as DOE “Endorses” Homeschooling”. HSLDA. (Posted on June 1, 2012). Retrieved on June 3, 2012 from http://www.hslda.org/hs/international/Philippines/201206010.asp